Fast responses deliver acquisition finance for Onecom

Date: 28-10-2015

Tagged as: SouthTelecommunications

“It would be hard to fault Lloyds Bank.” Darren Ridge, founder and CEO, Onecom

The Hampshire-based telecoms provider is targeting a significant turnover boost following a strategic acquisition supported by Lloyds Bank.

Business telecommunications provider Onecom cemented its position as Vodafone’s largest independent partner with the acquisition of the third-largest, Evolve, in July 2016. The Fareham firm was formed in 2013 through a merger of two businesses controlled by entrepreneur Darren Ridge. The company has since grown organically, and through small acquisitions.

Evolve was Onecom’s largest acquisition to date, explains Darren: “It increased our number of employees from 350 to 450, and should take us on a journey towards an annual turnover of £100 million by end of 2017.”

A good understanding

Darren’s relationship with Lloyds Bank is a valuable one that stretches back about 15 years, he says. “I have various business interests, all looked after by Lloyds Banking Group. Of course that means the Bank has a good understanding of me as a businessman, and I have a good understanding of them. I see it as a mutually beneficial two-way relationship.” When he raised the possibility of obtaining a £20m facility to fund his growth ambitions, Relationship Director Mike Morgan was happy to help. “We were very quick to give Darren confident assurances and establish our support, because we’ve always been impressed with the way he runs his business,” he confirms.

Delivering to a tight timescale

Darren was impressed with how the team performed under pressure. “We wanted the lending to be put in place quickly – we gave the Bank a tight deadline, and they came through,” he says. “It would be hard to fault Lloyds Bank. We’ve always enjoyed a great day-to-day relationship with Mike Morgan and during this deal we’ve also built a good relationship with Mike Gillespie, Director of Strategic Finance for London & South. He very efficiently drove through the financial and legal due diligence. “We are very grateful to Lloyds Bank for their speed and efficiency, and everyone’s hard work.”

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